KITCHENER -- The 66th Kinsmen Auction has moved online this year due to COVID-19.

The Kinsmen Club of Kitchener-Waterloo said it's hopeful it will be able to raise enough money to give back to the community during the pandemic.

"Normally we're on-air for four to five hours on television," Co-Chair Andrew Lang said.

The event raises thousands of dollars for community organizations every year, auctioning off items like cars, household appliances and sports memorabilia.

CTV Kitchener previously broadcasted the event for more than 60 years.

Even though it won't be televised during the pandemic, Lang said the show must go on.

"We're now doing our online bidding, opening at 5 (Friday)," he said.

Lang said there's been an online component to the auction for the past two years. This year, it will last five days instead of just five hours.

It opens at 5 p.m. March 12 and closes at 9 p.m. on March 17.

"We're also going to be doing the phone bids as well, for those people that aren't comfortable with internet bidding," Lang said.

Phone lines will be available at these times:

  • 7 to 9 p.m. March 12
  • 12 to 4 p.m. March 13
  • 7 to 9 p.m. March 17

Successful bidders will get a call on March 19 and be able to pick up their items next weekend.

"They're going to have to have a little bit of patience this year and wait for that call," Co-Chair Ron Couch said.

The number of donated items is down slightly this year from 300 to 200. They'll also only have 15 volunteers, as opposed to 50 in years prior.

The fundraising goal has dropped to $20,000.

But, spirits are still high.

"We wanted to make sure it was continuing, the community knew it was something that they could count on," Couch said.

Organizers hope to get back on the airwaves next year.